17 Strategies to Help Learners Improve Their Ability to Classify People, Places, Things, etc.

Are you looking for strategies to help students improve their classifications skills? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure the student knows that all objects, people, ideas, actions, etc., can be grouped based on how they are alike. Give the student concrete examples.

2. Provide the student pairs of objects and have the student name all the ways in which they are alike and then the ways in which they are different. Proceed from simple things that can be seen and touched to more abstract ideas that cannot be seen or touched.

3. Explain that each new word that is learned is an example of some category. On occasions where defining a word, it should first be put into a category (e.g., a hammer is a tool, anger is an emotion, etc.).

4. Show a sequence of objects and have the student create a category into which they fit.

5. Show a sequence of objects and have the student tell which ones do not belong in the same category as the others.

6. Provide the student a list of words or images and have them find the categories to which they belong. (Love and hate are both emotions. Love fits into a specific category of excellent feelings, and hate fits into a specific category of bad or unhappy feelings.)

7. Explain that words can be categorized according to various attributes, such as size, function, texture, etc.

8. Ask the student to help make lists of some categories that fit inside bigger categories (e.g., bushes, flowers, and trees are all categories that can be included in the plant category).

9. Provide a category or group and ask the student to find as many things as possible that belong in the category. Begin with big categories (e.g., living things) and move to smaller categories (e.g., living things that are green).

10. Organize a game such as “I’m thinking of an object” in which an object is described, and the student must guess the object based on questions they have asked.

11. Recommend that parents ask for the student’s help when grocery shopping by having them make a list of things needed in a particular food group (e.g., dairy products, meats, etc.).

12. Get the student to cut out images for a notebook of favorite foods, television shows, or other categories. The student can then group the images into accurate categories.

13. Utilize images, diagrams, the smartboard, and gestures when delivering information orally.

14. Provide the student specific categories and have them name as many things as possible within the categories (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).

15. Provide the student a word and ask the student to list as many words as possible that have similar meanings (i.e., synonyms).

16. Make the curriculum important to the student (e.g., explain the purpose of a task, relate the curriculum to the student’s environment, etc.).

17. Separate at several points during the presentation of information to check the student’s comprehension.

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